Wednesday, June 22, 2016

'Save Your Sanity' Chore Lists!

Hello summer!!! {{WooooHoooo!}}

The words that make every teacher smile...summer! 
My summer started only a few shorts days ago. I am finally catching up on some much needed sleep that I missed out on this school year and I'm slowly, but surely, starting to feel human again! But, of course, like most teachers, even though my summer has just started, my summer 'wish list' is already filling up!! My wish list includes school projects that I'd like to accomplish, TpT creations that I'd like to create, places I'd like to visit and some not so exciting house chores that I've been putting off for some time now... can you say 'organizing neglected closets'---yuck!! 

But, what I'm most excited about this summer is that I get to enjoy extra time with my own kids! I have one child who will be entering 4th grade {where did the time go? am I that old?} and one child who will be entering into Kindergarten {it just doesn't seem possible--but double yay for no more daycare payments :) }!!

Today I want to share with you.....
In order to keep my kids from repeating the "I'm bored mom" statement all summer, I devised a simple (yet very effective) simple chore list that they are responsible for on a daily basis! I started this last summer with my oldest who needed a bit of guidance during the summer days. I felt like I was the only one doing any house chores, and never getting anything else done, while she felt unmotivated and lethargic from her TV coma. 

To solve our issues, I created this 'chore' list {and I use the word chore loosely} that was more than just boring stuff (as she says)! Get this...she actually told me that she likes doing the things on her list---and then my mommy heart melted!!  I made sure to include activities that were important to her (and me) so that she could maximize her brain power while staying active! 

Here is her chore list::
I made sure to include some everyday chores that wanted her to do (like the dishes and emptying the trash) and then I also included some of those fun activities that would get her up and get her brain going (like playing outside and on the computer)! It's a win/win for both of us!

I then got a clear page protector and inserted the paper into it so that the paper would stay nice all summer. And to make her feel in control, I found these cute little dry erase markers that are magnetic--double score!! They attach right to the fridge beside her list. She gets to mark each bubble when she has completed that task to let her me know that she has done with that one. (She added a small piece of paper towel under the big magnet so that she could erase the bubbles at the start of each new day.)
This is what it looks like on my fridge on a daily basis!
And since it worked so well last summer, I made a revised version for this past school year. It worked like a charm and kept her on track while also allowing my husband and I a quick look at her accomplishments each day/week! 
And since my little one is now home all summer, I knew he'd want in on the chores fun so, you got it...he gets his own chore list too!! Since he's not really reading yet, I decided to add pictures to accompany the words.....{I leave no room for excuses!}.  :)
It is printing now and will soon be put into a plastic protective sleeve and he'll be responsible for his chores just like his sister!! There is nothing like a little sibling competitiveness to keep everyone working and having fun!! (I should also mention that the times given for the activities are all minimums and more can always be done, the kids get to choose the order in which the chores are done, and most importantly, the chore list is open to revisions at ANY time-no questions asked!)  

I hope you found this useful and can implement something like this for your household too! All you need is a simple {but fun} chore list, a plastic sheet protector, a few magnetic dry erase markers and a little paper towel and you'll be all set to save your sanity this summer!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

My Short Vowel Flip Book!

Happy Sunday folks!

It's been a while since my last blog post but there's been good reason....I went from a Kindergarten Aide to a classroom teacher (again)!! It all happened pretty quickly so I didn't have much time for anything else in life. I had to get my room ready and my mind back into 'teacher mode'.  It's been a fun and crazy ride for sure and I've loved every minute of it!

Anywho, even though I'm not currently teaching Kinder anymore, I will still be creating mostly Kinder activities--I have a 4 year old who will be a Kindergartener soon so this mama needs to create for him! :)

I want to show off my newest flip book! I had so much fun making it. It's all about short vowels! I love the graphics and I love the colors. Everything really feel into place when I was making it! Take a look at the pages below. Like usual, I included a color and B/W cover to allow you to choose!! 

Take a peek and let me know what you think!

(Click HERE or on any picture to view it on TpT!)
The cover in color...
And the B/W option too!

I hope you like it but more importantly, I hope you find it useful in your classroom!!
Do you find flip books useful? If so, be sure to check out all of my flip books HERE!

Have a great week and keep teaching...the end is near!!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Dental Health Month Is Here!!

February is Dental Health month!
{Say CHEESE!!!}

I actually love this month and teaching about dental health. I think teaching kids about non-academic stuff, such as how and why to care for your teeth, is just as important as the academics we do teach. School is all about helping the student become a well rounded individual in life. We often forget that topics, such as the proper ways to stay healthy, are so important in a child's life.  

I've heard teachers comment that it is hard to incorporate topics such as dental health into their everyday lessons. That's why I created this little gem! I love flip books because they are easy to assemble, easy to use and you can pack lots of info into a cool little book! And let's be honest...students love the tabs on the side. Anything that is different from a normal sheet of paper will grab their attention.

This flip book is packed with some good information. The book has students review important words that are associated with dental health and students can brainstorm and draw foods that are good and bad for our teeth. Students also will answer some simple questions that pertain to how they currently take care of their teeth and on the last page, students get to show off what good dental health looks like to them!

Take a look at what is included in this flip book!
{Click on any picture to view it on TpT!!}
(Please note: 2 covers are provided, one in color and one in black/white, so that you may choose what works best for you!)
Do you still need some other activities for your classroom when it come to incorporating dental health into your math and literacy lessons?
Take a look at my other creations....

I hope you've seen something here that will be useful to your and your classroom! Be sure to click on any picture to view that item on TpT!
Happy Dental Health month!!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

A New Year, A New Set Of Work Stations!

Here we are. A new year.  A fresh start. A rejuvenated spirit! 

A new semester in the classroom means we are half way through the year!! ((insert panic face)) Just kidding...deep breath! 

Kindergarten is such a fun grade because after December ends and January begins, I start to see kids maturing, new growth taking place and lightbulbs going off more often when the "ah-ha" moments kick in! There is absolutely nothing better than seeing a child finally "get it" and seeing the pure excitement run across their face!

For me, January is when I start taking those foundational skills and start building upon them. Students are typically ready to dive into teen numbers, middle sounds and ending sounds on words, measurement, and more fluently recognizing numbers, numbers words and ten frames, just to name a few!

Below are some 'low prep' activities that you can easily print, laminate and put into your work boxes for your students. They reinforce those skills and concepts you are teaching and they often help me get a quick glance at who is mastering the skill and who still is developing their thinking. Take a look at a few activities my students always enjoy!!

New work stations always start with some good ol' lamination! I just love my personal laminator!! 

First up is a gingerbread themed beginning sounds and letter matching. I will use this activity with my students who still need a little extra practice master those beginning sounds. I always make sure to tell them that their will always be a letter and a picture in the matched pair!
I also love to use this gingerbread themed ending sounds activity. 
***Please note that a few letters do not have pictures with them such as J and Q!
Here, students can practice reading those CVC words and identifying the vowel. My students love showing me how well they can read! There are a lot more word cards included that are not pictured here.  
In January, I also expect my students to really start identifying the number words. Here, students get to practice matching a number, number word and ten frame. This activity can be easily differentiated as I have included numbers up to 20. I always make sure to tell my students that they will have a green, pink and purple snowman in their matches!
In this activity, students can match a left mitten and a right mitten when they identify a letter and a picture that starts with that letter! 
Last but not least, these writeable ten frames are always a hit. In this activity I have included number that students can use to place in the dotted box or your students can use a dry erase marker, as seen below, to write their answer. I have included number 1-20 so that you can easily differentiate for your students! 

Those are just a few of the winter activities I have in my TpT store. Be sure to click on any picture to view it more closely. I hope a few of these activities help your kiddos learn and practice those essential skills this winter! 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Falling Into Fall!

It's Fall....
Can you smell the crisp air?
Do you see the changing color on the leaves? sure does feel like fall here in England! I love it!!

Since we are in the thick of Fall now, I wanted to highlight one of my most favorite units that I've created! It's one of my favorites because I just love the color and graphic combinations! The skills were all ones that my students needed practice with and so it was easy for me to pick the skills to focus on!! 

Take a look at a few of the activities included!
First up, pattern sheets! These {and the rest of the sheets} focus on AB, ABC, ABB, and AAB patterns. Some sheets require the students to color in a pattern based on the different leaves given and other sheets give the same leaves and students must color the patterns in by the pattern names given.
Next, students can practice tally marks!
I've included a recording sheet to keep students focused and accountable. Students will write the letter found at the top of the card, then record how many tally marks that letter has! 
This next activity is one my most favorite in the set!! I love these adorable owls! Students match up the number, number word, ten frame and dots. With four cards in each set, the teacher can easily differentiate with what cards out of the set that they would like to use! {Numbers 1-20 are included!}
Here, students must identify the beginning letter for each picture. I've laminated my cards so that students can use a dry erase marker to show their answer. 
I hope you find these activities useful in your classroom!!
Happy fall y'all!